Several Indian cities that were born as a result of colonization, served as showcases of the power of the colonizer, manifest in huge buildings, wide roads, large green parks and other infrastructure. Their architecture, though early on a pure model of established Classical and other European styles, eventually gave way to a refined combination of strong local traditions. Madras, one of the first major seats of the British, is one such town that has grown rapidly, but unfortunately at the stake of its heritage. Its vast architectural wealth, including the fine examples of the Indo-Saracenic style - that was a marriage between the Hindu and the Islamic styles - is fast vanishing.
The richly illustrated volume offers an insight into what remains of this wealth, in the hope of kindling a fresh interest in its upkeep. The chapters have been so arranged and introduced to give a clear picture of how the city grew, from its majestic beginnings at the fort to the southern suburb of Adyar. The suggested walks cover a varied and substantial numbers of buildings and take one through the life of the area. Debates on he future of heritage planning and the history of built form and open spaces have been included an essays. While on the landmark buildings we have detailed descriptions substantiated by drawings, care has also been taken to introduce briefly, residential and other smaller buildings that play an equally important role in lending character to an area. With close to 1000 photographs, every chapter has been laid out differently to capture the unique experiences of each locality.
About The Author:
K. Kalpana is a young conservation architect with a passion for reinterpreting traditional values and the spirit of building in present day architecture. Her interest in travel, social history and experience in the material science of historic buildings has given the text an interesting flavour.
Frant Schiffer is a young German architect, with a flair for photography and a profound interest in heritage. His love for cities, his keen sense of design and good graphic ability has helped in producing a volume that presents the old within a contemporary context.
About An INTACH:
INTACH (Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage ) os a non-governmental organisation concerned with the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage. In an era driven by technology and communication, local traditions and history are often forgotten. Organised in Chapters and spread over several cities, the Chennai Chapter of INTACH, through its activities - this publication is being one of them - aspire to arrise heritage awareness and place it among the forefront current issues. Aided by a team of dedicated members, INTACH has carried out numerous urban conservations studies ranging from the rejuvenation of temple tanks to the adaptive re-use of historic structures and spreadheaded interest groups against the destruction of our architectural wealth. Currently involved with the preparation of heritage conservation plan for Dutch settlement of Pulicat, we hope that conservation - related development will provide alternative economic opportunities to offset the diminishing potential of traditional occupations.
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